Michael Irvin

Michael Irvin to speak at LSU football coaches clinic

Michael Irvin, an NFL Hall of Famer and NFL Network analyst will be the headline speaker at LSU's Football Coaches Clinic  March 19-21. The clinic is not open to the public.

Former LSU receiver Jarvis Landry will also be on the bill along with former Tigers defensive line coach Pete Jenkins, Cincinnati Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander. LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron along with first-year Tiger defensive line coach Ed Orgeron will also address those attending.

"We've put together another great lineup for our coach's clinic again this year," LSU coach Les Miles said. "Michael Irvin is one of the best to ever play the game so it will be great to hear his message and share stories with someone who has accomplished so much because of the game of football.

"This is as good a group of speakers for our clinic that we have ever assembled. d. "In addition to the LSU coaches who will present, we've also got one of the all-time great offensive line coaches in the NFL in Paul Alexander along with one of the great coaches of defensive line play in Pete Jenkins. This lineup of speakers will make for two tremendous days of talking football and learning more about the game."

Irvin, a member of three Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboy teams, is considered one of the best receivers to play in the NFL. He caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns in 12 seasons.  

Landry, who just completed an All-Rookie campaign with the Miami Dolphins, will speak to the group of coaches at 5:15 p.m. on Friday.  

"I'm excited to have Jarvis (Landry) address our group to share his story and talk about our program and what his first-year NFL experience was like," Miles said. 

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Michael Irvin strongly denies using stickum

Most in the media have ignored #Stickumgate.  Fortunately, the folks at WFAN haven’t.

In the aftermath of Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice admitting to the application of stickum to his gloves and claiming that everyone did it, no other Hall of Famers (or other receivers) have come forward and said, “He’s right.”  Instead, two of them (so far) have said they never used stickum.

First, it was Hall of Famer Cris Carter.  Now, former Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin has strongly denied using stickum in a segment with Evan Roberts of WFAN.
“I love Jerry Rice, but that’s what everybody says. ‘Oh, everybody did it.’  That’s the oldest defense in the world,” Irvin told WFAN’s Evan Roberts.  “I didn’t use Stickum.  I never used Stickum, didn’t need Stickum, didn’t believe in Stickum.  I wouldn’t do it.  Troy [Aikman] would go off on me if I put Stickum on his footballs. You see what I’m saying?  Stop asking me this junk. I didn’t feel like I should answer it. I have not answered one on it.”

And then things escalated.  Quickly.  And disturbingly.

“It’s almost like — and I hate to get this harsh — if Aaron Hernandez starts saying ‘Well, Michael murdered some people,’ don’t start asking me did I murder somebody,” Irvin said.  “You know darn well I didn’t murder anybody. Just because somebody threw it out there — leave me alone with that mess. Get off my Twitter with that.”

Hopefully, Irvin’s comments will prompt more in the media to explore whether other receivers will be echoing Rice’s comments that all receivers used stickum or, as Carter and Irvin have done, stranding Rice on an island.

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Michael Irvin reveals he was offered Camaro during college recruitment

Hall of Fame wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin revealed for the first time publicly that he was offered a brand new Camaro when he was being recruited as a high school senior.

On Wednesday's Dan Patrick Show, Irvin said he was recruited by a number of schools including LSU, Syracuse, Indiana, Michigan State and Florida State before signing with Miami in 1985. 

When asked what was the biggest gift he was offered during the recruitment process, Irvin laughed.

"One of the recruiters was driving me home in a new Camaro and he said, 'Isn't this a nice car? It is yours, all you have to do is sign with us," Irvin revealed. 

Although Irvin did not reveal which school offered him the new car, he denied it was LSU. When asked by Patrick if it was Florida State, Irvin laughed again stating "Stop that, don't you know I have had enough practice with lawyers? You can't get me with that."

Irvin excelled at Miami, setting school records for career receptions (143) and touchdown receptions (26). He was part of Miami's 1987 national championship team. 

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Michael Irvin to Miami fans: Give Golden a chance

Former Miami WR Michael Irvin said at Super Bowl Media Day that Hurricane fans should "calm their asses down" and give HC Al Golden a fair chance.

"I thought [keeping Golden] was the right move," Irvin said. "And guys, I've said this over and over again and I'll say it here again: Al Golden -- Coach Al Golden -- has earned this opportunity, has earned the right to see this through. With what he's done, to jump there and fight, that was not his fight, and he stayed through the fight. He recruited well and he kept us in the fight. Tell me this. Where's the smarts in saying, 'Hey freshman [quarterback Brad Kaaya], we know we started you. We know you learned a lot. But right now we're going to snatch all of that from under you and make you start all over again next year.' It would be absolutely stupid, absolutely ignorant to do it to him." Interestingly, Irvin's nephew Tim Irvin, a local Miami prospect and four-star athlete, enrolled at Auburn earlier this month. Golden is barely over .500 in four years at Miami and posted a 6-7 record in 2014. His seat isn't hot next year. It's an inferno.

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Michael Irvin fears for his sons who play football

PLANO, Texas — If you have ever watched Michael Irvin do his very public business, you know he€™s never needed a megaphone. On television or radio or simply chatting in an otherwise quiet restaurant, his volume is set on high.

Want an autograph, a photo, a quick lecture on responsibility or a sermon on redemption, Irvin, who maintains he has seen the light, is more than willing to share. He’s a one-man pep rally, self-help guru and revival-tent preacher.

When he helped the Cowboys return to Super Bowl glory in the early 1990s, the pass-catching triplet’s voice was the loudest on the mountaintop. He was an unquestioned locker room leader.

But here, he is different. Here, he yearns for privacy. He sits alone, isolated by choice, hoping to go unbothered in a crowd of football enthusiasts, most of whom have worshiped at the Cowboys alter.

Here, he eschews center stage in the more inviting seats that look down on midfield to instead sit stoically behind a video camera, 25 hard metal-bleacher rows off to the side.

His camera’s audio is off. Always. He wants no recording of his mutterings. Such is a wise course of action for any father taping his child’s games for future joint analysis.

Like so many other Cowboys of his generation, Michael Irvin is a football dad. He has come to Prestonwood Christian Academy’s stadium this Friday night to watch his son play. The son, also Michael, is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior wide receiver wearing the familiar No. 88.

The father, whose broadcasting work takes him around the country, has made it a habit to try to never miss a game between airport hops. Fly in Fridays; fly out Saturdays. Always at home games, he sits in this same lonely row.

When he arrived this night, the Playmaker came with the same Friday night frights he feels every game. It’s the same baggage his Cowboys contemporaries carry. They love the game that has brought them glory and riches beyond their wildest expectations. They are supportive of their sons playing but know all too well the damage it can wreak.

“I’m scared for him,†Irvin says mid-game while the Prestonwood offense rests on the sideline.

Scared that his oldest son might run the wrong play? Miss a block? Drop a key pass?

“Nervous for that,†the father admits, his volume dropping by the syllable.

Ah, the old feelings the father felt in his own high school days in South Florida, at the University of Miami and his Pro Football Hall of Fame seasons with the Cowboys?

Irvin sits up straight, stares at the camera’s viewfinder, refocuses the lens on No. 88 on an offense returning to the field and allows his voice to fall to almost a whisper. Here is a Michael Irvin few have heard.

Here Irvin speaks for a generation of Cowboys, who could afford to fear nothing on their way to winning Super Bowls but now worry on the sidelines.
“Scared he might get hurt because there are no feelings like the feelings a parent has for a son,†he explained before returning to muttering through the offensive series.

Michael Irvin’s final play as a Cowboy remains etched in his memory. In his 168th NFL game, on a wet, dreary Philadelphia afternoon in October 1999, he caught an 8-yard slant pass from Troy Aikman.

It was Irvin’s first reception of the game, his 10th of the season, the 750th of his Cowboys career.

As he latched on to that first-quarter pass, having run his signature route surrounded by defenders, Irvin could have no idea it would be his last.

As he tried to avoid an incoming defensive back, he went down head first into a concrete-like artificial slab of Veterans Stadium turf.

The Eagles crowd cheered his misfortune. Teammates prayed. Irvin didn’t know what to think as he lay motionless on the field for almost 20 minutes. Finally, he was carried off on a stretcher and taken to a Philadelphia hospital with damage to his vertebrae. Sandy, his wife, was at his side. She cried all the way to the hospital.

In the blink of an eye, Michael Irvin’s career was finished. The doctors told him it would be too dangerous to try to play again. He was 33.

He calls the play “the last act.†But it hardly overshadowed his career.

“My memories of playing football are much better than that,†he said.

He cited the camaraderie. The life lessons. The glitz, glamor and the money.

How could he possibly deny his son Michael and his second son, Elijah, a sophomore reserve running back at Prestonwood, the opportunity to make memories of their own?

Sandy Irvin wanted her sons to play basketball and wasn’t shy about making her feelings known.

Her son Michael listened to her concerns.

“But we are a football family,†son told mother.

Standing off to the side, his father couldn’t help but smile.

“That’s my boy,†Michael Irvin thought.

The father said he always looked for ways to be more physical during his playing days.

“I used to put my head down and try to use it as a weapon,†Irvin said. “I loved to hit before I was hit.â€

That is not the lesson he has passed on.

“We’ve learned so much about the danger of doing something like that,†he said. “The game is changing. The rules are changing. It’s a smarter game.â€

To ensure his sons hear him, he has enlisted others to relay the same message.

Irvin has a wide network of friends he has leaned on, including ex-teammates. Among the friends is Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

“It’s like all fathers and sons,†Irvin said. “I can say something to my son 1,000 times, but as soon as Larry says the same thing, the light bulb goes off.â€

The Irvin men spend summers at Fitzgerald’s camp.

“I tell Larry. Larry tells Michael. It’s all good,†the father said.

Six games into the 1989 season, his second with the Cowboys, Irvin’s left knee exploded as his right anterior cruciate ligament was torn apart. His season was over. At age 23, he thought his career might be over as well.

The 15th of 17 children who grew up in a blue-collar roofer’s home, he was unsure what future life held.

He poured every ounce of his strength in rehabilitating the knee.

“That was the only time I was anything close to scared in football,†he said. “That I wouldn’t be able to play.â€

He is unsure how his children might react in a similar situation.

“I don’t know if my kids or any players’ kids, with all they have, could have such a hunger for the game.

“But in the end, it doesn’t matter,†Irvin concluded. “I’ve always told my boys that whatever they decided is that important to them we will work toward that.

“That’s what any father would do.â€

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Michael Irvin believes Jaguars rookie Allen Hurns living up to the No. 88 playmaker reputation

LONDON – The Playmaker is raving about the Jaguars' newest playmaker.

Former Cowboys and Hurricanes receiver Michael Irvin, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007, believes Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns is living up to the standard he set wearing No. 88.

Hurns, an undrafted rookie out of Miami, has 29 catches for 466 yards and has scored five of the team's 16 touchdowns this season. Hurns will try to continue his success against Irvin's former team when the Jaguars (1-8) face Dallas (6-3) at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Irvin is in London this week with the Cowboys.

"He's an 88-clubber now," Irvin said. "I told Allen, it takes something special to earn an opportunity to come into the 88 club. I told all the guys in the league, 'If you're not a bad man, go to your coach and say, make sure you don't give me 88. Because, if you can't carry that number, don't put it on.' I'm so proud of what I'm seeing out of Allen Hurns right now."

Hurns made an immediate impact, catching two touchdowns with 110 yards in the season opener at Philadelphia on Sept. 7. That got Irvin's attention.

"When you come into the league the way he came in, you have to make a mark early," Irvin said. "You have to make those plays. He wasn't a top draft choice. He made his mark that first game blowing them away. Now, he's getting an opportunity and making the most of those opportunities. I love Allen Hurns."

Irvin's comments brought out a big smile in Hurns after Friday's practice.

"It means a lot, especially coming from one of the greatest to ever do it," Hurns said. "I had that mindset at Miami to live up to the expectations, because they paved the way. I had to follow them. To hear that praise from him is special."

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Michael Irvin endorses Dallas' addition of Michael Sam

Many would expect Michael Irvin to support the Dallas Cowboys in most of their endeavors. The Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver spent his entire NFL career with a star on his helmet. But when the subject is adding Michael Sam to the organization, it doesn't hurt Dallas to have the NFL Network analyst endorsing the move.

"I like Michael Sam," Irvin said Tuesday to TMZ. "I love him with the Cowboys. He knows how to get to the quarterback. ... WHen you are trying to get players and the Cowboys need players who can get to the quarterback, you sign Michael Sam, and I'm happy with that."

Sam, the defensive player of the year for the SEC in 2013, has three sacks in the preseason in his time with the Rams, before St. Louis dropped him during its final roster cuts. He cleared waivers, meaning the 31 other NFL teams passed on the opportunity to take him before he became free to join any team.

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Michael Irvin on mistakes, redemption, new mission

The Playmaker, former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, admits he was a playing as much off the field as he was on the field.

"Football brings about a lot of noise in your life," he said. "You have the football; you have the finances; you have the females. Everything is running around you, and there is a lot of noise in your life, and it can fool you that that is living."

Irvin was living in the fast lane and making headlines with his wife and children at home.

But he said he had an epiphany on the day he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2007. He walked off the stage, saw his sons, and decided it was time to change.

"I shared from my heart. I shared where I felt I had failed my sons as a father, and openly prayed for God to help me never fail them again," Irvin said.

He said the new road hasn't been an easy one; there have been missteps. But he said he turned to God, and his life began to change.

He became close to Bishop T.D. Jakes and started turning his life around.

"This has to be God, because that guy we knew named 'Michael', he could not make this change on his own," Irvin said.

Now he says he feels called to take his mistakes and turn them into something positive. He wants to minister to men about fatherhood.

"When you say, 'I have made mistakes,' some people might look at Michael Irvin and say, 'Why should we see him as role model? A man speaking on fatherhood and as a mentor?' I asked the same question. 'Why, God? Why do you have me doing this?' I was making bad decisions and I almost lost my family and God shared with me, 'I see you.'"

Irvin said he is redeemed, and wants to speak to the millions of children who have no fathers in their lives.

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He points to the NFL athletes who get into trouble. He said many never had a father around.

"It's not about making money, because these guys are making millions and millions of dollars living in mansions," Irvin said. "And they are still talking about the pain of their father not being there."

Irvin came from a family of 17 children. He was number 15.

He said his father was around, hard-working and caring, and on his death bed he was more concerned about how his children's feelings and how they were handling his illness.

"And I thought, 'Wow, here is a man that is in his worst state and overtaken with pain, and all he is thinking is about the well-being of his family.' Now that is man."

So Irvin is taking what he learned from his father and teaming up with former Oakland Raiders player and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown to minister to men. He said it is about strengthening men and empowering them to be better husbands and fathers.

"To be sure we don't lose hope, because when we lose hope, we make it hopeless for our kids," Irvin said.

Irvin and Brown will speak at the Potter's House of Dallas on Friday, August 29 at 7 p.m. for Friday Night Lights Men.

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Gators Lead Recruitment of Michael Irvin's Nephew?

When you think of the football surname Irvin and the city of Miami usually the first thought that comes to mind is Michael "The Playmaker" Irvin scoring touchdowns in the famed Orange Bowl for The U. However, those memories might not be enough to keep Michael's nephew, Tim Irvin from Palmetto (Fla.) Westminster Christian School (WCS), in South Florida for college.  Irvin told me he is giving serious thought to leaving Miami to play at the next level. In fact, he likes what the Gators are selling him after his July visit for the annual Florida Friday Night Lights Camp.

I spoke to Coach (Will) Muschamp and T-Rob (Travaris Robinson) when I was up there. They are funny guys, comedians. T-Rob is recruiting me as a strong safety. They said I can be the next Matt Elam. That's a good thing. Elam is a great player.

Irvin is planning to make his college announcement at the US Army All-American Bowl next January. His top five schools are Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, and Miami. Even with the Florida overtures the hometown Hurricanes are still a major player in his recruitment.

Everything is a factor with Miami. My teammate Jordan Cronkrite is committed there. When I go there it feels like home. I'm from Miami, I like the vibe of Miami. I talk to all the coaches and they tell me to stay home.

The two-way star said his parents and his other famous uncle, Sedrick Irvin, will help him make his decision. Sedrick was a standout at Michigan State and spent three seasons in the NFL. He is the head coach at WCS and began his coaching career at the University of Alabama under head coach, Nick Saban.

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Michael Irvin to serve as Pro Bowl captains

Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin will be the captains for the Pro Bowl next season, the NFL announced Wednesday.

Last year, the Pro Bowl switched to a new format that involved captains picking their teams, instead of the traditional AFC vs. NFC matchup. The captains for the 2014 game were Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders. 

This season's Pro Bowl will be the first played in Arizona, with the league choosing to play at the site of Super Bowl XLIX instead of the traditional location in Hawaii. It will mark the third time the two events have been hosted in the same city: The 1967 games were held in Los Angeles, and the 2010 games were in Miami.

Carter played 15 NFL seasons, 12 with the Minnesota Vikings, and caught 1,101 passes for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns. Irvin played his entire 12-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, catching 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 TDs. 

The 2015 Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 25 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

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Michael Irvin Shows Up Wearing Satchel

“It’s not a purse, it’s a satchel.” Michael Irvin would probably be telling you that if you asked the NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver on if he was wearing a man purse.

Irvin showed up to the Chicago Bears training camp on Wednesday wearing just that … a satchel.

Take a look:

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Michael Irvin Unleashes On Cris Carter For Drug Advice About Troubled Josh Gordon, Past Issues With Irvin's Wife

Michael Irvin is mad as hell at Cris Carter, and he has been for a long time. When former Vikings receiver and current ESPN analyst Carter publicly stated that the Browns should cut Josh Gordon for his recent troubles with drugs and alcohol, Irvin said he should mind his own business. Irvin, as well as Carter, have struggled with substance abuse in the past, and both understand the nature of being a high-profile NFL receiver. What Irvin, who was a premiere player for the Dallas Cowboys in their 90's heyday, has a problem with is Carter handing out advice on how to deal with addicts. When Irvin unleashed on Carter he also revealed that he has had issues in the past with Carter trying to convince Irvin's wife to leave him.

There's a mentality and a lifestyle that seems to accompany athletes of a certain disposition. Cris Carter seems to think he's helping Gordon out by offering tough love advice, but Michael Irvin says that Carter is sticking his nose where it doesn't belong (via CBS Sports):

"The people start thinking that you have insight on the situation or the issue or the problem so when you come out and make those kinds of comments and you're not in his sessions with his professional help, you don't know what's going on in those sessions, then you're being irresponsible. I was a bit disappointed Cris Carter made that statement."

Irvin also revealed that many years ago, Carter stuck his nose into his business (via LA Times):

"'... And all Cris is trying to do, he's just trying to share his experiences,' Irvin told ESPN's Dan Le Batard. ' [But] He said to my wife... you know, Michael would never come out of this problem until you leave him. Till you leave him. For years, I've held it. I've never shared that with anybody... I was so irked with Cris because he was out of line then. His ... is out of line now. He is out. Of. Line.'"

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Michael Irvin: "Cris Carter told my wife to leave me"

Michael Irvin took great exception when Cris Carter offered some advice for the Cleveland Browns in their handling of Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon. After Carter suggested the Browns cut Gordon for his own sake, Irvin took to the Dan Le Batard Show to vent his frustrations with the remark.

“People start thinking that you have insight on the situation or the issue or the problem so when you come out and make those kinds of comments and you’re not in his sessions with his professional help, you don’t know what’s going on in those sessions, then you’re being irresponsible.”

But Irvin didn’t stop there. Clearly keyed by the situation, Irvin got personal and shared a story previously held from the public eye that fit the idea of Carter perhaps impressing his own experience on others a bit too much.

“He said to my wife — he said to my wife –you know, Michael would never come out of this problem until you leave him. Till you leave him. For years, I’ve held it. I’ve never shared that with anybody. I’ve never in my life shared that with anybody. I was so irked with Cris because he was out of line then. His a$s is out of line now. He is out. of. line.”

When asked if Irvin ever confronted Carter about the remarks, Irvin gave an emphatic answer. “Nope. Never confronted him with it because I know, just because he spoke it doesn’t make it reality and it wasn’t going to be my reality in that situation.”

The entire interview is one large, beautiful behemoth of quotable piece after another. Irvin later emphasized that he’s trying to come from a more informed stance on the issue, talking to doctors and specialists who deal with those suffering from addiction, much like the ailments which seem to afflict Gordon.

“It may not happen when the NFL wants it to happen — it’s NOT about the NFL and it may not happen when the Cleveland Browns fans want it to happen and it’s NOT about them either. It’s about that kid.”

Credit Irvin at the very least for maintaining a stance and taking the side of Gordon, on which few people are standing right now.

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Hurricanes Make Offer To Michael Irvin Jr.

Michael Irvin was part of the iconic Miami teams of the 1980s and a member of the 1987 National Championship team. Irvin played for the Canes for three years and amassed a total of 143 receptions and 26 touchdowns. Irvin then went on to be a five time pro bowler and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2007.

Those are some big shoes to fill for Michael Irvin Jr. As a sophomore, Irvin Jr caught 82 passes and added 17 touchdowns for the Prestonwood Christian Lions in Plano, Texas.

According to the article by Bartow, there are some other schools (Georgia, Michigan and Texas Tech) that are also interested in Irvin at this point and as his junior season progresses I’m sure that number will grow. The biggest question over these next two years for Irvin Jr to decide is if he wants to follow in his fathers rather large footsteps or if he wants to forge his own path. Regardless of the decision, Michael Irvin is a name we won’t soon forget and one we will be watching in the future.

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Jason Garrett compares Dez Bryant to Michael Irvin

Dez Bryant recently claimed that he deserves to become one of the NFL's highest-paid wide receivers.

He's not going to get any disagreement from coach Jason Garrett, who compared Bryant to Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin on Monday.

"I have a great fondness for Michael Irvin. I had the good fortune of playing with Michael for eight years," Garrett said. "Michael Irvin set the pace and the tempo for our team all throughout the 90s. He worked harder than anybody else. And Dez Bryant has a lot of those same traits."

After four seasons, Bryant boasts 293 catches for 4,104 yards and 40 touchdowns compared to 171 receptions, 2,968 yards and 20 touchdowns for Irvin over the same period in his career.

Garrett also lauded Bryant's hands as the best he's ever seen and complimented the contract-year wideout for his "passion" for football and diligence in becoming a better player.

Two offseasons ago, Bryant was viewed as too high risk to ever land a second contract in Dallas. Now there's speculation the Cowboys will resort to the franchise tag if necessary next year.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said over the weekend that a long-term extension for Bryant is a "possibility" before the start of the 2014 season.

"You know, if that was to happen (a deal done before the season), that would be great," Bryant said Monday, via the team's official website. "I'm still going to go out there and perform at a high level, because that's how I work. It will take care of itself."

For all of the hand-wringing over Bryant's perceived character concerns, his early-career numbers are on a Hall of Fame pace. That's going to get him paid like a top-tier receiver this year or next.

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Michael Irvin to Host UM Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Dolphin Fishing Tournament June 27-28 in Florida Keys


NFL Hall of Famer and University of Miami football great Michael Irvin will host the 4th Annual Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys/University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame (UMSHoF) Celebrity Dolphin Fishing Tournament June 27-28 in Islamorada, Fla. Event activities will take place at Founders Park at Mile Marker 87 and Coconut Cove Resort and Marina at Mile Marker 85 on the Overseas Highway.

The tournament weekend will begin Friday evening with a kick-off party and captains' meeting followed on Saturday by a full day of fishing, awards dinner and live and silent auctions featuring unique sports memorabilia as well as a variety of gift packages. This is the only fishing event of its kind that matches participants with former Miami Hurricanes sports stars for the competition. Cash prizes and trophies will be presented to anglers in eight categories. A portion of the tournament proceeds will go to Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and the UMSHoF.

"This tournament reflects the Hall of Fame's mission," said K.C. Jones, president of the UMSHoF, a 2008 hall inductee, two-time Super Bowl winner with the Denver Broncos and founder of the tournament. "Not only can University of Miami sports fans celebrate the accomplishments of our former student-athletes, they can compete side-by-side with them while raising money for local causes. We are on track for 100 boats to participate in this year's tournament."

Irvin added: "This is really all about the U and our family of Hurricanes fans and former student-athletes. We must embrace the mission of the UMSHoF, which is an organization that recognizes the tremendous efforts of our Hurricanes athletes, coaches and administrators."

Former Hurricanes sports stars scheduled to participate include NFL Hall of Famer and 2012 Tournament Host Warren Sapp (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Oakland Raiders), NFL Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks (Baltimore Colts, Green Bay Packers, Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders), Clinton Portis (Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins), Brett Romberg (Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons), Gary Dunn (Pittsburgh Steelers), Damione Lewis (St. Louis Rams, Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Houston Texans), and Randal Hill (Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints).
Tournament Information

For information about tournament participation, including boat entry or sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.canesfish.com or contact Tournament Director Judy Layne at judy(at)canesfish(dot)com. Save $150 on tournament fees by registering online now until June 1. Follow the tournament on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/canesfish.

About the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame (UMSHoF)


Nestled on the Coral Gables campus of the University of Miami, the UMSHoF is a 501(c)(3) corporation whose sole purpose is to recognize those student athletes, coaches and administrators who have contributed the most to Hurricanes Athletics over the years. The showcase for the UMSHoF and repository of the great sports traditions of the University of Miami is the Tom Kearns Sports Hall of Fame Building, next door to the Hecht Athletic Center on San Amaro Drive. On display are photos of each of the inductees, the National Championship Trophies for University of Miami football and baseball, as well as the Heisman Trophies of Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torretta. The UMSHoF display includes basketball memorabilia from the Rick Barry years along with items from all of the university sports programs. For information about planning a visit, participating in one of the annual fundraising event or contributing to the UMSHoF, visit http://www.umsportshalloffame.com, send an email to umsportshalloffame(at)aol(dot)com or contact John Routh directly at (305) 284-2775.

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Michael Irvin won’t win an Oscar, but he can act

My love for movies goes back to those childhood days when I spent practically every Saturday afternoon at the Ritz theater in downtown Fort Worth.

I saw some of the greatest films of all times — and some of the worst — in that segregated picture show, which usually got the “first-run” movies two to three weeks after they had opened in the white theaters downtown.

But that didn’t matter, because it was at the Ritz that I saw pictures like The Defiant Ones with Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis, The Ten Commandments, Imitation of Life and the terrifying Psycho, all instant classics.

It’s because of my appreciation of true classic movies that I never want them to be remade — and when they are, I make every attempt to avoid seeing the new production.

I’ve never seen in full the remake of The Defiant Ones, for example, or the television production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. There’s no way they could have matched the original, so why bother?

There’s another film that I swore I would never watch, no matter what. Then the other day, while flipping through cable movie channels, I caught a glimpse of a former Dallas Cowboys player.

I’d already gone about two channels past the film when I realized, “That was Michael Irvin!”

I went back to the Irvin movie, and it took only a few seconds for me to realize that the former wide receiver, nicknamed “The Playmaker,” could act.

He was cast in the remake of The Longest Yard, a movie first released in 1974 about a quarterback (Burt Reynolds) sent to prison and then forced to lead a team of inmates in a football game against the prison guards.

“OK,” I thought, “This can’t be any good, so let me move on.”

But I couldn’t. Irvin had trapped me into watching this new version, which was made in 2005 and starred Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. The next day, I made it a point to see it in its entirety.

I know the former football player has been blamed for a lot of things, but this is probably the first time he’s been accused of making someone watch a movie.
Irvin has always been a showman, on the field and off, but it had never occurred to me that he could pull off an acting role and make it believable, even while playing a football player wearing number 88.

Back in the days when he was with the Cowboys, sometimes getting in trouble with the law and the NFL, I was often considered an apologist for him, primarily because in some cases he was falsely accused and other times I felt he had been unfairly targeted by law enforcement.

Regardless, I think Irvin would be the first to say that he’s responsible for having put himself in positions that brought him his legal problems and negative publicity. And it didn’t help his image or bring him sympathy when he showed up at a courthouse in Dallas during his drug trial wearing a full-length mink coat.

Despite some of his antics, he was the darling of the news media because he usually provided great copy and super quotes, a trait that has served him well as a broadcast analyst, a job at which he is a master.

He’s been on Dancing with the Stars, a couple of reality shows and guest-starred in another Sandler movie, Jack & Jill — which I haven’t seen, but I’ll put it on my list.

Make no mistake, The Longest Yard remake is no Oscar winner and does not come close to being better than the original. But it is worth seeing, if for no other reason than to see “The Playmaker” act.

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Michael Irvin: NFL players should be mature enough to accept Sam as teammate

In July 2011, former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin was pictured on the cover of Out, a magazine focused on gay fashion and lifestyle.

In that edition, the Pro Football Hall of Famer said he would support a gay player.

In a recent interview on The Arsenio Hall Show, Irvin remained true to his word, supporting Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who announced Sunday that he is gay. Sam is projected to be drafted by an NFL team in May.

While many wonder how this announcement will affect Sam's draft stock, Irvin, an analyst for NFL Network, called it a "beautiful plan" because he says the league doesn't want to see Sam go undrafted.

"There is no way on God's green earth that the NFL wants him sitting there tick, tock, tick, tock, and not get drafted," Irvin said. "They don't want that. They do not want that. So trust me, I believe this may help him way more than hurt him."

Irvin, who had a gay brother, called Sam a good player and added that if he can rush the quarterback in the NFL, his sexual orientation won't matter.

In regards to how he will be accepted in an NFL locker room, Irvin pointed to how well the Missouri football team dealt with Sam announcing to them that he was gay before the 2013 season.

"The college athletes at Mizzou, they handled it perfectly. He told them before the season. In the SEC, you never heard about this. The very definition of a locker room is saying, 'Hey man, I got your back. You can count on me. I give you my word.' And that's exactly what those guys did. They had his back, they counted on him. I think that's what gave him the strength to come forward.

"Now, I would hate to think grown men in an NFL locker room are going to be less mature than those kids in college."

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Renting Lamborghini, sneaking down fire escape — Deion Sanders, Micheal Irvin reminisce about partying during Super Bowl week

Former Dallas Cowboys Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders shared some of their stories from the week before the Super Bowl, reminiscing with Warren Sapp and Kurt Warner.

While they spoke about the preparation they did, they also shared some stories about some of the imfamous partying that goes one before the big game.

Sanders said former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson asked his players to get everything out of their systems on the Sunday and Monday night before the game.

"I had to party," Irvin said. "I had fun. I’m sorry, y'all. It was a blast. I love that I had Jimmy Johnson, too. Because Jimmy Johnson said do what you got to do to bring the best out of you Sunday.

“... Yeah, I worked hard on getting it  out of me Sunday and Monday night.”

Sanders, who talked about renting a Diablo Lamborghini during Super Bowl week, spoke about his appearance in Super Bowl XXIX with the San Francisco 49ers.

He called the 49ers’ win against the Cowboys in the NFC Championship game that year the actual Super Bowl, because he knew the Niners would beat the Chargers.)

"I wanted to party and have a good time because you never know when you're going to get back," said Sanders, who won the following year with Dallas. "I remember telling (49ers defensive coordinator) Ray Rhodes, 'Ray, now you know on Friday I got to get our there, now. That’s what I do.' Ray Rhodes — this is no lie — Ray Rhodes came and got me out of my room. Took me down the fire escape, put me in my car. I went and did my thing. I called him on my way back in. Got in my room. Got my rest. I'm straight!"

You can watch the full video below:

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Michael Irvin with an interesting comment on Russell Wilson

Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin had an interesting take on Russell Wilson and the idea of a new wave of dual-threat quarterbacks taking over the NFL.

“Russell is a little ahead of what we consider new school,” Irvin said. “New-school guys are considered talented shoulder down basically. They can win with their arm or their legs. Old-school guys are those Peyton Manning thinkers. Russell Wilson’s gift is that he’s new school shoulders down but old school shoulders up. That’s why he is in this game.

“When the rest of these quarterbacks — the Cam Newtons, the RGIIIs, the Colin Kaepernicks — when these guys who are gifted like Russell shoulders down start playing the game like he plays it shoulders up, this league will be a whole different monster,” Irvin continued. “I call him a managing playmaker. If you can be a managing playmaker, that means I have the ability to run the ball and break out of here and make plays with my legs, but I choose not to until I have to? That’s a dangerous player because he keeps the field open at all times until the last moment.”

Seahawks general manager John Schneider talked about the much-discussed end to Wilson’s season, when his numbers dropped off from levels that had him in consideration for the MVP at one point.

“You saw his numbers come down a little bit towards the end of the season,” he said. “We played a lot of very good defenses. That was a little bit more of a result of him really protecting the ball. A lot of throw-aways. He doesn’t care about his passer rating…He really has a lot of that cornerback mentality to him. If he makes a mistake, he can put it out of his mind right away and move on to the next play.”

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Michael Irvin To Serve As Honorary Celebrity Chair

The ever-popular Cowboys & Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala is rounding up new supporters with Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Michael Irvin saddled up to lead the way.  Irvin has graciously come on board as the 2014 Honorary Celebrity Chair of the Cowboys & Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala, Dallas’ much-anticipated chic western soiree. The event is set for Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Omni Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar St.  Highlights will include fabulous silent and live auctions, amazing raffle prizes, fine dining and entertainment. Visit www.CowboysAndCowboys.com.

This fashionable boots and bling event draws legendary cowboys from both the gridiron and the rodeo arena.  Joining Irvin at this elegant western affair will be a host of other cowboy celebrity icons from the NFL and the championship rodeo circuit, along with approximately 600 other friends and supporters of Sky Ranch.

Sky Ranch Camps have served youth and families for more than 55 years by offering safe, fun and character-building Summer Camps, Retreats and Conferences and Outdoor Education programs. With properties in Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma, Sky Ranch serves well over 50,000 guests annually.

Proceeds from the gala benefit Sky Ranch to support these invaluable outreach initiatives and help fund its expanding scholarship program.  Scholarships raised during the gala are instrumental in helping send deserving kids to summer camp at Sky Ranch, who might not otherwise have an opportunity to take advantage of this life-enriching experience.

“I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to help children who face challenges beyond their control,” said Michael Irvin, Honorary Celebrity Chair.  “My prayer is that through the 2014 Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala, together, we can deliver the gift of Sky Ranch’s camp – a camp that focuses not just on summer fun, but drawing out each child’s potential to lead with godly character. This opportunity to make an eternal investment in the lives of these kids is a blessing.”

This year, the star-studded Cowboys and Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala may exceed fundraising expectations.

To help fund scholarships, guests may bid on luxury items such as  jewelry, restaurant gift cards, travel packages, celeb-signed guitars, golf outings, local sports tickets and more treasures in the silent and live auctions. “The gala is an exciting evening of entertainment and fun,” said Irvin.  “However, we never lose sight that the focus is on supporting the mission of Sky Ranch and helping change lives one kid at a time.”

Major supporters of the 7th Annual Cowboys & Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala are Grand Homes, Sport City Toyota, Staubach Family Foundation, Amy Simmons, Denise and Alen Hinckley, The Skyland Foundation and Fort Worth Custom Pools and Muir Ranch and a herd of friends of Sky Ranch supporters!

Individual tickets for the Cowboys & Cowboys Sky Ranch Gala are $150.  Sponsorships are available at various levels. For more information visit www.CowboysAndCowboys.com or call 469-484-4840.  

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Michael Irvin Recalls Visit With Jeff Lurie In The Hospital After Career Ending Injury

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is throwing snow balls at Santa Claus. There is booing Darren Daulton’s children. There’s the court at Veterans Stadium. And there is cheering Michael Irvin’s injury. Those are the go-to stories that people use when discussing the dark side of Philadelphia fans.

While being taken off the field in a stretcher, suffering a career-ending spinal cord injury, Eagles fans cheered. Almost 15 years later, Irvin said that he and Eagles fans have a mutual respect.

“I meet guys all the time, guys from Philly, and they say ‘man I hated you, but I love you now man. You’re passionate just like I am, I love that. I love seeing it on TV.’ So, you know, I have an appreciation for that,” Irvin told 94WIP’s Brian Haddad on Saturday. Irvin is now a an analyst for the NFL Network. “My affair with Philly has been very intense. Very, very intense. Strong emotions when I was with Dallas. You know when I came out there when I first retired, and we would come out to do a game, and the people in Philly would say ‘we hate you!’ and the veins in their neck.”

Irvin still remembers the injury, and the hospital visit that ended his Hall Of Fame career, and he says it was all meant to be.

“I do believe in the spiritual side of it all, how things work. It was perfectly ordained,” Irvin said. “When I was laid up, when I was taken off the field in Philly, it was on a stretcher. They rushed me to the hospital. Of course Jerry [Jones] rides with me to the hospital and I’m sitting, I’m paralyzed, can’t move, and the owner comes in the room, and he just, you could tell man, he’s in a place, his lips are shaking, very emotional. Jeff Lurie comes in and I wanted to free him, but also share truth with him. And I looked over and I said to him, I said ‘I’m good,’ you know, and I said “I understand your people, they’re very passionate, like I am, they were just saying ‘get him off the field, he’s been killing us for ten years!’ And I do believe that that’s what it was. And honestly, to have shared that night with him, and then get the words that I get fifteen years later from fans saying that exact thing, that’s why I say it was ordained.”

Even though Irvin’s career was cut short by a brutal injury, and there is a constant flow of news suggesting that brain injuries in the NFL are commonplace, Irvin says he’d never sue the league. He also doesn’t take the side of President Obama, or other players who question whether they’d allow their children to play the game.

“I’m a football player. Seeing my [sons] play football, oh my god,” Irvin said. “My wife said, when they had the concussion thing on [television], she said ‘I’d rather the boys play basketball.’ I said ‘ok baby,’ just not to have any more arguments. And you know, not to uh, after getting caught in the hotel room and messing up all the things I’ve done. I said ‘yeah baby, whatever you want.’ But she said it to Michael and Elijah, my sons, and they said ‘yeah mom, we like basketball, but we’re football players mom, that’s what we are.’ And man, you’re talking about, my heart smiled from one side under my arm to the other, a huge smile.”

“It’s the greatest game in the world,” he said.

Irvin said he cried when he was finally inducted into the Football Hall Of Fame in 2007, and didn’t want to take his induction blazer even after the ceremony ended, and then, even later than that. “When I finally got in, I wasn’t taking that jacket off,” Irvin said. “When I came in the room, she was like ‘what are you doing? You’re not getting into bed with that thing on like that.’ Oh yeah baby, yes I am.”

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Michael Irvin appears in gun reform PSA

NEW YORK (AP) -- NFL greats Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders, Michael Irvin, LaDainian Tomlinson and Marshall Faulk are appearing in a public service announcement in favor of gun law reforms.

The spot released Friday is paid for by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which was founded by New York City's Michael Bloomberg and Boston's Thomas Menino. A solemn Smith speaks into the camera: "For the children of Sandy Hook Elementary." Then Tomlinson adds, "Demand a plan."

Faulk says later: "It's time for our leaders to do something."

Mayors Against Illegal Guns says on its website that it "advocates for common-sense measures that will close deadly gaps in our gun laws and make sure law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to detect and deter gun trafficking."

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Michael Irvin salutes Ray Lewis as 'one of the greats'

The staying power of retiring Ravens star inside linebacker Ray Lewis resonates strongly with former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, a fellow Miami football standout.

For Irvin, watching the two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year excel for 17 seasons has separated him from the pack of NFL defenders.

Since returning from a torn right triceps, Lewis is the leading tackler in the playoffs with 44 stops. The Ravens have earned victories over the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and the Indianapolis Colts to make it to the Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Now Lewis is preparing for his final football game Sunday night with the AFC champions.

"When we look at Ray's tenure, one place this long, wow, this is incredible," Irvin, an NFL Network analyst, told The Baltimore Sun. "And he's still going, leading all tacklers in the playoffs. That's really still going. It speaks so much of a game we call physical.

"It's a physical game. And there's the importance of leadership and emotions in the game, and that's where Ray has been a huge example. I consider Ray to be one of the greats, if not the greatest to ever play the game."

Unprompted, Irvin, who overcame off-field issues to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, brought up Lewis' troubled past.

Lewis, 37, was accused of double murder in Atlanta following the 2000 Super Bowl in an incident outside a Buckhead nightclub, but the charges were later dropped and he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.

Since that incident, Lewis has significantly repaired his image and avoided trouble with the law.

"For what Ray has been through, honestly, I'm a spiritual man with an understanding of ministry," Irvin said. "Ray is using his life experiences to impact the lives of others. Ray had a horrific situation, a horrific situation where lives were lost, but Ray took that horrific mess and turned it into greatness. What I mean by that is Ray went through something to make sure nobody else from Baltimore had to ever go through anything like that ever again.

"We don't talk about this, but I don't hear problems coming out of Baltimore because Ray used his situation to give everybody an understanding. He's one of the greatest to ever play this game, on and off the field. People point back to the situation he was in and that's fine. But when you talk about the downs he got to, also talk about the highs. He's been incredible."

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VIDEO: Michael Irvin's NFL Hall of Fame Speech

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VIDEO: Michael Irvin Kisses CJ Spiller

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Cowboys TE Jason Witten nears Michael Irvin’s career receptions mark

IRVING, Texas — Jason Witten still remembers vividly his first NFL catch, though at the time the Dallas Cowboys tight end didn’t think enough about it to even keep the ball.

It was a 13-yard pass from Quincy Carter in the fourth quarter of a loss against Atlanta, the only catch of his NFL debut in the 2003 season opener.

“It’s one of those deals, you catch it, you get up. It’s just football, this is what we do,” Witten recalled Wednesday. “It seems like it was yesterday.”

When the Cowboys play at Atlanta on Sunday night, Witten might catch a ball really worth keeping.

With four more receptions, Witten will surpass Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin’s career mark of 750 that stands as the Cowboys’ franchise record.

“Their exterior might be different but they’re all about the same thing,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, who was Irvin’s teammate. “Each of those guys is as good a teammate as I’ve been around, as passionate about this game as I’ve been around, works as hard at this game as anybody I’ve ever been around. Really, really well liked.

“Michael is obviously flamboyant. Jason is not quite as flamboyant. But the passion in both of those guys is there.”

Witten broke his own single-game franchise record by catching 18 passes in a loss to the New York Giants last Sunday. The seven-time Pro Bowler has 43 receptions over the last four games after a slow start while he recovered from a lacerated spleen.

Now he is close to passing Irvin’s career mark established over 12 seasons (1988-99).

“He was one of the greatest,” Witten said. “So just to be mentioned with Michael Irvin is special, and hopefully we’ll have a good discussion after a big win about it, once it happens. But really, until then, my focus is trying to help this team win and where we’re at in the season.”

The Cowboys (3-4), after missing a chance to get within a half-game of the Giants (6-2) for the NFC East lead, now play the NFL’s only undefeated team.
That also means Witten has a chance to break Irvin’s record with Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez on the other side of the field.

Witten ranks third on the tight end list with his 747 catches, trailing Gonzalez (1,195) and retired Shannon Sharpe (815). Witten is also third among tight ends with 8,396 yards receiving.

“I have all of the respect for him. He plays the position the way it’s supposed to be played,” Gonzalez said of Witten during a conference call with Dallas media. “He’s definitely, without a doubt, a dual tight end. That means he blocks and catches, and obviously where the state of the tight end is in the NFL right now. I mean a lot of these guys are just catching passes so I love seeing a guy like him blocking and catching the ball and doing both things very, very well.”

Gonzalez and Witten have become friends over the years while playing in Pro Bowl games and attending Super Bowls. For all of their catches and records, they have only one playoff victory among them — Gonzalez is 0-5 and Witten 1-4 with an NFC wild-card victory three seasons ago.

This is the 16th NFL season for Gonzalez, who plans on retiring after this one. He said he is “95 percent sure” of that even though he has no doubt he could play at a pretty high level for a couple of years more.

“He’s the greatest to ever play the tight end position,” Witten said. “It’s amazing, he’s still going at the level that he’s doing it. You talk about durability and consistency, he kind of defines that, especially at this position.

“I’m a big fan, and it’s great to see him still at a high level the way he plays and how he carries himself both on and off the field.”

Witten has played in 150 NFL games. The only game he missed was because of a broken jaw as a rookie in Bill Parcells’ first season as Cowboys coach.
It was Parcells who used to say then about Witten, “don’t put him in Canton yet.”

But there could be a future spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for Witten, who never even considered being the Cowboys’ career receptions leader when he first arrived as a third-round draft pick out of Tennessee.

“I was just trying to survive that first training camp,” Witten said. “You’re always in search of the perfect play and the perfect game, so it’s just this process you’re always trying to be better and better and better. You don’t really get to that point that you can enjoy it, because you’re always looking for more, and expectations get higher.

“If it happens, it will be special.”

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Michael Irvin wants to add Belichick’s name to the Lombardi Trophy

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin knows how hard it is to win three Super Bowls, because he’s done it. And he says he’s so impressed with Patriots coach Bill Belichick winning three Super Bowls that the NFL should rename the trophy that goes to the Super Bowl winner and put Belichick’s name on it.

Irvin told the Boston Herald that if he had his way, he’d change the name of the Vince Lombardi Trophy to recognize Belichick as well.

“I think the world of Belichick,” Irvin said. “I told him this, ‘Man, if it was up to me, that trophy would be called the Lombardi/Belichick.’ I don’t care what they think. It would be called the Lombardi/Belichick. That’s how good he is to do what he’s doing in this day and age, what the league is now. I would call it the Lombardi/Belichick.”

The trophy given to the Super Bowl winners was just referred to as the “world championship trophy” for the first four years of its existence, but when Vince Lombardi — who led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II — died in 1970, the name was changed to the Vince Lombardi Trophy, starting with Super Bowl V. Honoring Lombardi wasn’t just about recognizing his multiple titles, it was also about his role as one of the towering figures in the NFL during the era when the Super Bowl became America’s biggest annual sporting event.

If we’re going to add Belichick’s name, why not also add the name of four-time Super Bowl-winning coach Chuck Noll? Or three-time Super Bowl-winning coaches Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs? Or two-time Super Bowl-winning coaches Jimmy Johnson, Tom Coughlin, Mike Shanahan, Tom Flores, Tom Landry and Don Shula? Maybe we should call it the Lombardi/Belichick/ Noll/Walsh/ Gibbs/Johnson/ Coughlin/Shanahan/Flores/ Landry/Shula Trophy.

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Michael Irvin disappointed by Dez Bryant arrest

IRVING, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant in 2010, they gave him No. 88 in hopes he would be the team’s next Drew Pearson or Michael Irvin.

Speaking on the NFL Network on Tuesday, Irvin, the Cowboys’ Hall of Fame wide receiver, said he was disappointed to learn of Bryant’s arrest Monday for family violence. DeSoto Police allege Bryant grabbed his mother, Angela, by her t-shirt and hair and “hit her across the face with his ball cap” last Saturday.

“To say this is totally out of the realm of possibility, I wouldn’t be totally honest,” Irvin said. “We know (with) Dez’s background and his upbringing that he may have the proclivity to make bad decisions. I had that proclivity. But to go this distance with it is a bit far. I don’t even care to talk about what the Dallas Cowboys must be doing here. I need to know what some counsel is going to tell Dez or what guy he is talking to about this issue. You cannot -- and you heard (Bryant’s mother) say she is tired of this, she can’t take it. Obviously it’s so sad because it’s not the first time and there certainly is something going on there. If we care anything about him, the man -- forget the football -- we need to make sure somebody looks into this.”

Irvin, who had a number of off-field incidents in his career and incurred a five-game suspension to start the 1996 season, said his “heart bleeds,” after hearing the 911 call placed by Angela Bryant.

“This is uncharted waters. I like to speak out of my spirit on a lot of things, both the highs and the lows, the peaks and the valleys I’ve experienced,” Irvin said. “But this is out of the world for me. I’ve never laid my hands on any woman, let alone talk about the No. 1 woman in any man’s life, which should be his mother. You have to only try to think about where the anger and all of that is for you to get to that point. That’s why the pressures or the stress of what you’re dealing with, whatever is going on, we can’t have that. I know he has to be saying the same things now.”

Irvin did not want to discuss whether he felt Bryant was worth the trouble for the Cowboys to keep. In his first two seasons, Bryant has 108 receptions for 1,489 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also returned two punts for touchdowns as a rookie.

“Those are all-world numbers for a guy in his first two years to come with 60-something catches last year in your second year, just about 900 yards and double-digit touchdowns (actually nine),” Irvin said. “That is off-the-chart numbers. And all of the other stuff has been absolutely (worth it) because that’s up to your debate whether someone sagging pants is really a national story or cultural difference, even though it may have shown a lacking in judgment. But here again, this issue is something new. You guys want to talk about football; I want to tell you about the man. I don’t care what the Dallas Cowboys think on this situation; I only want somebody to talk to Dez about figuring out how you get to the place where your mom is begging you to go home and not hit her. I don’t care about anything else. That’s serious stuff that we have to get to the bottom of.”

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Michael Irvin bids farewell

With his contract expiring, former University of Miami great Michael Irvin left his WQAM-560 talk show on Monday, telling listeners that it "hurts" that his two-year stint on the station has ended.

Irvin’s agent, Steve Mandel, said WQAM wanted to keep the former Dallas Cowboys star but only if he moved from Dallas to South Florida.  Irvin “wasn’t prepared” to do that, Mandel said.

After Irvin declined that request, the station asked if he wanted to appear weekly on Joe Rose’s morning show and make other occasional appearances, Mandel said. But Irvin said no.

WQAM general manager Joe Bell said he prefered Irvin do the show from South Florida because it would have been easier to market it.

Irvin, who has been an NFL Network analyst since 2009, plans to explore options elsewhere in the market, with WMEN-640 and WINZ-940 among stations he is expected to approach.

Though 790 The Ticket has an opening, Irvin appears unlikely to end up there in a full-time role. The station is looking at pairing Marc Hochman with either Jon Weiner or Jonathan Zaslow on its morning show.

“I promise you – stay tuned,” Irvin told listeners. “I will find my way back on the air to you.”

He told listeners that leaving WQAM “absolutely hurts” because “I’ve got a season coming up at UM. I wanted to talk you through this season. But business is business. I can’t begrudge anyone. I wish everybody the best.”

Irvin hosted the show for the first year with former TNT NFL analyst Kevin Kiley before Kiley retired last year. This year, his co-host has been South Florida-based WQAM staffer Curtis Stevenson. In January, Irvin’s program was shifted two hours earlier (to 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

Jorge Sedano, who left 790 The Ticket’s morning show in April to concentrate on a television career, is the front-runner to replace Irvin. Because of a non-compete clause in his 790 contract, Sedano could not join WQAM until after Aug. 9.

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Michael Irvin talks ‘Madden 13,’ Megatron

Play “Madden NFL 13” and you have the chance to draft a rookie version of Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.

So I ask “The Playmaker”: If he could do it all over again, what advice would he give a rookie Irvin before heading into the NFL?
“I would tell a young me that at this level, you can’t win games all by yourself; football is a team sport,” he tells me as we talk football and “Madden” at a recent EA Sports event in Chicago. “When I first came into the league, I thought it was going to be easy. I thought when Dallas drafted me, we were immediately going to the Super Bowl and we were winning everything. Coming from Miami, I lost two or three games in three years, then I get to Dallas and the first game we play, we got our heads kicked in. Second game? We got our heads kicked in. I couldn’t understand how we were losing when I was out on the field.

“That’s when I realized, you can’t do it by yourself. Then we got Troy and Emmitt and things started working out, but that’s the biggest thing young players need to understand. You need teammates in the NFL. This is not Little League where you can just go out and run things.”

ESPN Playbook: When I draft you in “Madden NFL 13,” I can pick you for any team. If I could put a rookie Michael Irvin on any current roster, where would you like to play?
Michael Irvin: Before I was drafted in real life, being from Miami, I wish I could’ve played with Dan Marino and the Dolphins. I used to hang out with Mark Duper and Mark Clayton when I was at the University of Miami, and I thought I could’ve been that big receiver for them.

If I could join any current team, put me with Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay. I’d go off in that offense with Rodgers. The other quarterback I’d like to play with is Tom Brady. Only problem is, both of those places get pretty cold. [Laughs] I love the way those guys throw the ball.

Other legends in “Madden” this year include Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders. Do you think you would have gotten that last ring if Deion would’ve stayed in San Francisco and never joined the Cowboys? He really seemed to swing the balance of power.
Listen, we were getting rings long before Deion went anywhere. I think that no-pass interference call and the three turnovers we gave up at the beginning of that game swung the balance of power for that playoff game. If we would’ve come back and won that game, there would’ve been no balance of power swung. Trust me, now. We spotted them 21 and closed the gap. I don’t think anyone could’ve spotted us 21 and closed the gap.

Did you used to play “Madden” back in the day?
I played “Madden” all the time, especially back when I was still in the league. If Dallas was about to play Chicago, I’d play against the Bears in “Madden” and I’d sit there and throw the ball to me every time. Every guy in the National Football League does that. I guarantee it. Without even asking or taking a poll, every guy in the NFL plays “Madden,” and they sit there and make themselves a star, whether they really are one or not. And the great thing about the game is, it keeps us relevant. I run into kids all the time and they’re like, “Hey, you’re that football player from the movie, ‘The Longest Yard.’ I’m like, ‘No, no, I’m a real football player who did a movie.’ [Laughs] But now with “Madden” and this legends program, it makes us important in their eyes because you have to earn these legends. It makes you want to research the legends you’re playing as, and it introduces us to this younger audience, who never saw us play in real life. That’s how I think about it. I want these kids to want to be that Michael Irvin guy from Dallas. That Michael Irvin guy is a 99, I need to have him on my team. That’s cool.

Another big receiver, Calvin Johnson, is going to be on the cover this year. Do you believe in the “Madden” Curse?
I’m a spiritual man, and the Bible tells me: “As a man thinketh, so is he.” There’s a financial term called the expectancy theory, where we’re expecting a recession, we’re expecting it and expecting it for so long, that we all hold on to our money and we get that recession. Same thing for the “Madden” Curse. Calvin just needs to go out there and play the game and play hard. I don’t believe in curses. Marshall Faulk was on the cover twice and he’s still moving. Trust me, Calvin Johnson is a bad man. He’ll be fine.

How would you compare Calvin Johnson and his skill set to big receivers like yourself?
Calvin Johnson is taking things to a whole different level, but some of that is because of the different rules. I was a big receiver, but I was still required to run routes. Now they’re running to areas and throwing the ball up for grabs. There are less routes due to the defensive calls that are being made. We had a lot more one-on-one bouts. We had Michael Irvin versus Darrell Green or Michael Irvin versus Deion Sanders. They don’t have one-on-one, man versus man. Now it’s about scheme versus scheme. Who is the big wide receiver versus defensive back match-up today? It’s only Darrelle Revis and whoever he plays. There are no other cornerbacks who play like that. It’s a different league, but Calvin is a beast.

What do you think your stats would’ve looked like if you didn’t have to worry about the safety flying over and trying to take your head off?
That’s another thing. I believe that courage, courage is a hell of a trait, and with the new rules, they’ve removed some of the courage out of the game. People used to say to me, “Michael is fearless.” I’m not fearless. Everybody has fear, we’re human, we all have fear, but courage says that I have the ability to overcome my fear. But now you don’t have to worry about that -- boom, boom -- I was worried about it, but I overcame it with courage. They’ve removed the courage out of the game. Still a great game, but the courage has been removed.

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Michael Irvin warns rookies about keeping their old friends

Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin said at the NFL Rookie Symposium that young players who think they need to be loyal to their old friends need to understand something: Those friends won’t always be loyal to them.

Referencing the 1996 drug charges that led to a no-contest plea and a five-game suspension, Irvin mentioned that people who had been his friends testified against him.

“All my keepin’ it real partners testified against me. They ran right to the D.A., ‘Oh, yeah, Michael did it.’ They kept it real, ‘I’m staying out of jail. Michael did it,’” Irvin said.

Irvin mentioned another Symposium speaker, Michael Vick, and how his three longtime friends turned dogfighting co-defendants all pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against him.

“Michael Vick stood up here and he told you,” Irvin told the rookies. “All his keep it real friends, they kept it real. They ran right to the police, ‘I’m keepin’ it real: He did it. He did it.’ All your keepin’ it real friends, I promise you, they’re going to keep it real on you.”

Irvin told the rookies at the symposium that they need to remember that they earned what they have in the NFL, and they don’t need to worry about, in Irvin’s words, “Somebody that didn’t put in the work that you put in, because he’s not determined enough, he doesn’t know how to get his butt up and doesn’t feel like getting his butt up and going to work.”

Irvin said he wanted to speak to the rookies because “When I came into the league I didn’t have anybody to tell me some things.” Irvin was ready for the on-field part of the NFL from Day One, but it took him many years and some painful lessons to be ready to conduct himself like a professional off the field. The lessons he learned the hard way are the ones he’s trying to impart on the rookies of today.

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Michael Irvin's Madden NFL 13 Ratings Revealed

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Madden NFL 13 - E3 2012: Michael Irvin Interview

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